Being a runner isn’t cheap.

For those that say it is, they are lying. On top of all the gear and race entry fees, there’s also the fee of maintaining an injury-free body. No runner wants to be injured. Running, no matter what the distance or level of ability, can cause muscular soreness. Along with the soreness come immobility and tightness. There’s nothing better than a deep tissue massage to work out all the kinks and knots. Unfortunately, most runners can’t afford to have a massage therapist on call to help rub out the soreness, stress,and tension that we experience on a daily basis. A close second is foam rolling. However, sometimes a foam roller is just too big for those harder-to-reach places. Or it’s just too bulky for travel.

For an effective way to experience complete relief, try using lacrosse balls.

Lacrosse balls can be much more than victims of hard-hitting sticks. This simple, lightweight ball can be stashed in your purse, desk drawer at work or suitcase for on-the-go massage anytime, anywhere. It’s an SMR (self-myofascial release) tool.

Rolling a lacrosse ball across aching areas of the body can apply just enough gentle pressure to activate trigger points in muscles and alleviate any soreness or discomfort you may be feeling. Perform the following exercises for up to 60 seconds. They can be performed before or after your workout, as well as any time throughout the day. For around two dollars, you can give yourself the best massage — no tip required. Unless you want to tip yourself on a job well done.

Feet

To soothe aching arches, roll the lacrosse ball underneath your foot. Don’t be afraid to apply pressure. Doing it while sitting is recommended — and perfect for when you are plugging away at your desk at work. But if you want to try something more intense, you can stand. Or toss the lacrosse ball into a Ziploc bag and let it sit in the freezer for a bit. It’s a great tool for those who are battling plantar fasciitis.

Calf

Place the lacrosse ball underneath your knee. Make sure you roll the ball up and down the calf from the knee to the ankle and then repeat. This process will help target your entire calf muscle from top to bottom, including the soleus muscle. The calf is often very tight on runners and can lead to Achilles tendonitis, among other ailments.

Hips

Lay on the floor with your hip on the ground. While making sure to control mobility with your right leg, place the ball alongside your hip flexor. Roll yourself up and down. FYI – it’s a pretty intense feeling. Switch legs. If the pain is too much for you, stand up and place your tight hip closest to the wall. Begin moving the ball around on your hip to massage the pain away. It’s still an effective move, just a little less intense.